Collecting Swiss lake-dwellings in Britain 1850-1900
Leckie, Katherine Mary
University of Cambridge
Division of Archaeology
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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Leckie, K. M. (2012). Collecting Swiss lake-dwellings in Britain 1850-1900 (Doctoral thesis). https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.11708
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This dissertation asks how knowledge about the past is made and transmitted, and what the role of material culture is in this process. Taking as its case study the Swiss lakedwelling collections acquired in Britain between 1850 and 1900, it uses a selection of these collections as primary sources of the material and social networks that were central to the development of archaeology as a discipline. The project not only supports the more widely held assertion that scientific knowledge is a form of cultural production (Lenoir 1998), but emphasises the material basis of such production, and the traces it leaves. In particular, it pays close attention to previously unexamined aspects of historic collections; namely the transformative practices - such as the conservation, packaging, labelling, cataloguing and illustration - by which lake-dwelling artefacts were salvaged, documented, and displayed. It uses this perspective to shed light on the social networks which motivated such practices, and develops a method of analysing the collections in dialogue with other contemporary representations, underscoring the variety of material contexts and media through which knowledge about lake-dwellings was represented and encountered. This research will hopefully reinvigorate further research into historic collections and their implications for the discipline of archaeology and the museum's own reflections on its historicity and methods of knowledge production.
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.11708
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